Call of Duty Ghosts Review

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Call of Duty Ghosts is appropriately named, since this series has now become a shell of its former self. Ghosts goes through the motions and barely establishes itself as a Call of Duty game. Over the years Call of Duty has manages to change just slightly enough to warrant a purchase for some (not me), but this entry in the series is just doing the same old song and dance.

“New” things always include a different story, better maps, re-skinned guns and a cool co-op mode. But when it accomplishes nothing to move the franchise forward, what is the point? For the past few years now, the three pillars of a basic Call of Duty game has been centered around single player, multiplayer, and co-op. In Call of Duty Ghosts, these modes are all here in some form, but they all fail to do something remarkable; or even memorable.

The story mode of Black Ops whoops… I mean the story mode of Ghosts is without a doubt the worst story Call of Duty has ever attempted to tell. Out of the three modes of previous COD games, story mode has always been the weakest link, but not to this extent. The campaign is ugly to look at, boring to sit through and so linear that it actually draws a new line on how NOT to make a story mode. There is nothing wrong with linear games, as long as the story can captivate the spectator.

However, this campaign has to be the most sluggish military campaigns ever created. If you choose to suffer through this game like I did, I challenge you to find ONE interesting character. Every character in this game might as well be an actual ghost. Scenes were players only have control of the camera as characters conversing with each other up close and personal, truly reveal in a nutshell what is wrong with this story. As you listen to the characters inert voices, as you try to make sense of this barren and defunct story, as you look into their cold, lifeless comatose eyes, you will finally truly understand the definition of dread. But never fear, you won’t be spending that much time with this uninhabited campaign anyway because it is so damn short.

I managed to beat the single player in one day. Nay. In one sit through. Nay! I beat Call of Duty Ghosts single player in four hours, fifty-eight minutes and forty-three seconds. I have so many questions for the developers and publishers of this game but the first one I’d like to ask is why even bother with a single player mode anymore if the script is as dead as your brainless A.I, a story shorter than a fly’s lifespan and characters who seem to have checked out mentally since 2007.

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Instead of moving forward graphically like most sequels, it seems like Ghosts took a few steps backward. At times, Ghosts literally looks worse than Black Ops II… how is that even possible? Obvious texture problems can be easily spotted when starting an online or offline match, leaving objects looking like muddy pieces of cardboard. Granted, I played the current gen version, but that shouldn’t matter. Next gen versions will look prettier no doubt, but my Playstation 3 version of the game shouldn’t look like it was pooped out in a day.

Characters look uninterested in the fact that people are trying to kill them; and the voice actors sound as ghostly as they look … is that why the game is called Ghosts? Seriously though, the voice actors for these characters sounded like they didn’t want to be there; leaving the video game characters sounding one dimensional. One franchise: One dimension and one direction.

– One of the worst stories I’ve ever sat through

-Muddy and unappealing outdated graphics

-Voice actors can barely be called voice actors

Story/Presentation: 3.25/10

Audio: 5/10

Visuals: 4.5/10

The gameplay of Call of Duty games will probably always be the same, but that is probably not a bad thing. Since the controls are simple, it is easy to jump right into the action of multiplayer. Just like every COD before it, Ghosts brings different maps, modes and guns to try to keep things fresh. What is surprising though, is the fact that they took out so many things from CODs before it.

The Ground war mode is nowhere to be found; which makes 6v6 the biggest lobby size. Which makes no sense to me since most of the maps are huge. Some of the maps seem too big for a Call of Duty game since I would sometimes be walking around for extended periods of time, only to get shot in the back. Sabotage and demolition also didn’t make the cut and new modes such as “Search and Rescue”, “Cranked” and “Blitz”  fill up the spots. Cranked and Blitz both feel like a mad dash to get kills; with little teamwork needed to succeed. Search and Rescue however is a welcome new mode that encourages teamplay.

Whatever game mode you decide to play, the premise is still the same: Point and shoot until you or the other guy is dead. If you’ve never liked the multiplayer of past Call of Duty titles, you’ll find nothing here to draw you in.

I do have to give them credit for having the courage to finally adding females in multiplayer

I do have to give them credit for having the courage to finally adding female characters in multiplayer

Squad mode is another re-skinned idea that failed to do anything contemporary. You can create your own A.I controlled squad and take them into battle to fight other squads in modes identical to regular multiplayer matches. The catch is that these A.I bots will act like human players. Some of them will camp, drop-shot and abuse throwing knives just like real players. This is nothing more than a training course/ substitute for real online play. I should also note that local play only supports two players. So four player split-screen is no longer an option.

There is one dim shining light in this game however, and it lies within Extinction mode. The only time I had fun with this game was in this addicting co-op mode where your main goal is to destroy hives by carrying around and protecting a drill from aliens. The aliens don’t do that much damage individually, but they still pose a threat to you and your teammates as  you try to earn cash to buy new weapons and perks. Extinction mode could have benefited greatly if more maps were included. Once you’ve played one map, you’ve basically seen it all. Hell, if this was expanded instead of having single player at all Call of Duty Ghost would have been a much better game. 

+The gameplay is still there

+Extinction is a nice change

-Not enough change to make the game feel new

– No four player split-screen

Gameplay: 7/10

Lasting Appeal: 6/10

It seems as if the developers/publishers are afraid to take a risk and go in a different direction with the franchise. Sure it always sells, but if a new Call of Duty comes out every year and it is for the most part the same, you are putting the title at risk of becoming stale extremely fast. Eventually, if  fans get burned out on the series the game will stop selling and the cycle of the annual Call of Duty will break (Look at Guitar Hero). At this point, that might actually be a good thing since this series has been on a steady decline since World at War. I don’t often call a video game garbage, but Call of Duty Ghosts is the bottom of the barrel in terms of its single player. Co-op and multiplayer are fine, but it is mostly more of the same. Until the franchise finds a way to  do something innovative again, I’m afraid that it will fall into an abyss of forgotten glory.

Overall: 5.25 out of 10

Try this game if you like:

Literally any of the previous Call of Duty titles

Bad stories with lots of things blowing up

Multiplayer games

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